Anula Maiberg (30) co-owns Sixth Street Pilates in the East Village in New York City. Anula was born in Israel and moved to NYC in 2001 in order to pursue a career in photography. While working on her degree at the School of Visual Arts she fell in love with Pilates through the classes and private sessions she took at Sixth Street Pilates.
When and why did you start practicing Pilates?
After college and a few years at a “desk” job I realized happiness wasn’t in front of the computer screen. I decided to attended the Kane School for Core Integration to become fully certified on Pilates apparatus. After a few years of teaching I’m now the co-owner (with Jeremy Laverdure) of Sixth Street Pilates where it all began. I am also currently finishing up the Kathy S. Grant Heritage Training in Denver CO. under Cara Reeser of Pilates Aligned.
Can you introduce your co-owner Jeremy Laverdure?
Jeremy Laverdure has been teaching The Pilates Method since 2002. One of the first trainers at Sixth Street Pilates, he assumed ownership of the studio in 2007. Jeremy is certified to teach Pilates through the Pilates Center of Boulder and has done extensive continuing education with master teacher Cara Reeser at Pilates Aligned in Denver, CO. His teaching is informed by many years of yoga practice and dance training, and by his studies with Barbara Mahler.
Where did you receive your Pilates education(s) and who was your teacher?
I chose the Kathy Grant Heritage program because her work, from my understanding, was so subtle at times and refined which compliments my approach to fitness which can be much more aggressive at times. Like I mentioned I am developing an empathy and patience which has helped me mature as a young instructor. Plus the work is freaking HARD! and the challenge is highly rewarding. I get to work with Cara who is a constant inspiration and the groups who are attending the program are some of the more brilliant and accomplished teachers in the field.
I consider my main influences Kelly Kane, Matt McCulloch, Cara Reeser, Jeremy Laverdure, Benjamin Degenhardt and Jose Ruiz. They all have very different approaches to the Method and keep me on my toes. As a fairly new instructor I have a need to go back and understand the original work of Mr. Pilates and at the same time I am curious to know where the work is heading. Pilates is a living thing. In my opinion it has room to innovate and expand.
Do you participate in workshops on a regular basis?
I do participate in workshops on a regular basis. Currently I am finishing up the Kathy S. Grant Heritage Training. Ms. Grant had a melodic way of teaching which I am privileged to see through archival movies. Cara Reeser’s interpretation of the work will change how I teach my clients and classes forever. I am developing and empathy I don’t think I had before and a patience that will carry me through my career.
What is your favorite Pilates exercise?
My favorite exercise is the Open Leg Rocker. Its dynamic but very precise. It has an elegance and a proud quality to it. It always shows me what my students are made of.
Do you have a target audience?
I think my target audience are those who are willing to take responsibility for their workouts WITH me. I am happy to guide folks through an hour of movement in a class or a session but ultimately they are in charge of how they move and how much they would like to bring to the work. Its a combined effort and mutual respect.
How many lessons do you teach per week?
I generally work 20 hours a week. I only teach on average one group class a week and the rest are one-on-one sessions. For the last two years I have been teaching a class called Fight Club. It’s not really Pilates but all who attended I consider “advanced students” so they have a very strong foundation so we can get totally crazy. I actually love large group classes and creating a sense of community and getting through the tough stuff together. The one-on-one session is more personal and rewarding in the sense of the progress made week to week or over years.
Can you tell something more about Fight Club?
I wanted to take the skills we learn in Pilates (control, endurance, flexibility) and test them in a partnering class. Can we use another person as the apparatus? Can New Yorkers who are so used to not making eye contact get sweaty with one another forcing them to communicate and create a community aka a club. The result was magically successful. The students who attended Fight Club for the last two years are friends for life. They felt accountable for one another. They spotted one another and helped each other do things they didn’t think we ever possible.
Who is your favorite person you want to teach?
My favorite people to teach are the teachers I know and especially ones who work at Sixth Street. We all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. That means we can joke around and make things super challenging and fun. We also love “stealing” each other’s ideas or sequences. Its very flattering to see and peer I respect teach in a similar way to me and I am sure that feeling is mutual across the board at my studio.
What is your opinion about the future of Pilates?
I would like to think that the future of Pilates is similar to the evolution of all things. The more we know about the body’s anatomy and injury prevention the more we can tailor an hour of movement to support the structure of individual bodies. This is not going against the Classical work. Its going in parallel to it. I think there is a new generation of instructors coming up. Each with their own point of view and their own lineage. My hope is that instead of clinging to a style or feeling competitive we can support one another and harbor a culture of sharing ideas. A community of peers would be an ideal Pilates world.
525 EAST 6TH STREET
BETWEEN AVE. A & AVE. B
New York City
Marcia Polas (@polaspilates) says
I’ve yet to meet Anula in person, but am privileged to call one of her instructors a friend and I’ve come to “fan follow” her on Facebook and Twitter. Her thoughtful, rational, no nonsense, but still warm comments above are some of the reasons why (not to mention my envy over her vintage frocks).
Regarding her answer to the final question: Yes. Please.
Anula Maiberg says
Thank you so much Marcia!
Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle says
Hi Anula, thank you for continuing and contributing to this important discussion in the Pilates community. It is one I have been standing for over 20 years, and which has contributed to the way I teach Pilates and any other movement. When we are willing to move beyond the “who’s right/who’s wrong” paradigm and “be present” with a curious, discovering perspective about how we or others move or look, it opens us to our innate biointelligent wisdom. This way of being in the world re-sets our nervous system, and creates a whole person perspective, which I feel was the original intention and vision of Joseph Pilates when he spoke of his work producing “whole body health” and “world peace”, xwendy
Kristen Iuppenlatz Grech says
Wendy, I love it when you say “innate biointelligent wisdom”. Gives me shivers.
Kristen Iuppenlatz Grech says
Gosh, I love Anula and her vision of a collaborative, exploratory Pilates future.